About the Bands

Who we are

The University High School Music Department consists of students in all grade levels and with varying levels of skill. The department offers four levels of wind band, four levels of orchestra, three levels of jazz band, marching band (the Marching Trojan Regiment), color guard, and AP Music Theory. The ensembles present concerts throughout the year and participate in music festivals in the spring. The University High School Music Department is also the host of the annual Irvine Unified School District Band and Orchestra Festival. The music department provides entertainment and spirit for school sports and assemblies; and makes up the pit orchestra in the spring musical.

More than 20% of the students at Uni participate in one or more of the music ensembles, with about 175 students between the three bands. Lasting friendships develop in the music department and flourish in the band room, where you will find many of our students spending their time on breaks or after school. Many of our music students also have very demanding academic schedules. These students often exceed a 4.0 GPA and are committed to being a well-rounded individual through music and the high standards that the music department demands.

The music department is committed to excellence in musical performance, ensemble teamwork, and developing students into effective and hard-working individuals. Many of our members are accomplished musicians on and off the campus. These students have represented Uni at the local, state, and national level of honor bands and orchestras, as well as prestigious local youth ensembles such as the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble and the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Our ensembles have traveled to San Francisco, Florida and the Bahamas, and Hawaii, where they have had the opportunity to share their music with schools from around the country at music festivals.

The University High School Instrumental Music Department is proud of its history and is continually pushing towards the future. Every year the students show more commitment, more acts of selflessness for the department, and work more diligently to raise the standards of performance.

 

8th Graders

The Future of our department

We look forward to your arrival at Uni! We want to help you make a smooth transition from middle school to high school.

If you are an eighth grader interested in joining the band program and have not yet auditioned, please tell your counselor that you would like to sign up for Concert Band. This sign-up will serve as a place holder until we have selected the proper ensemble for you. An audition is not mandatory but is encouraged to make sure you are in the correct ensemble. If you are planning on being a part of this year’s program, you MUST complete the google form HERE. All skill levels are welcome. There is a place for everyone! Audition music is posted in our downloads section HERE. Please check with your middle school director for the date that Mr. Heddon will be visiting to hear your audition. If you are a transfer student, contact Mr. Heddon for band audition information.

Please check our Future Members page for more information.

Band Classes

The wind bands at Uni are separated into three different classes that take place during the school day. Concert Band is for our beginning level students, Symphonic Band for our developing intermediate level students, and the Wind Ensemble for our advanced members. The Wind Symphony is the flagship ensemble of the UHS Instrumental Music Department. Although auditions are not required to join concert band, students may choose to audition for possible placement in symphonic band, Wind Ensemble or the Wind Symphony. Students who begin in the Concert Band has every possibilty to prove themselves and progress all the way to the Wind Ensemble during their 4 years at Uni. Each ensemble has its unique character and flair every year.

The marching band, known as the UHS Marching Trojan Regiment, is comprised of members from all three wind bands and rehearses after school during first semester.  In order to be in the marching band you must be enrolled in one of the wind bands during the school day, unless you are enrolled in an orchestra class. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for students who wish to join marching band and are enrolled in an orchestra class.  The Marching Trojan Regiment (MTR) starts rehearsals in the middle of August for what we call “band camp." For the 2018-2019 school year (Summer of 2018), Band Camp will take place at Uni from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM, from August 6 - 10 and 13 - 17.  During this period, students learn music basics, marching basics, and our competitive field show.  We perform this field show at home football games and at various competitions that take place around Southern California.  The marching season coincides with football season, and there are usually three to four Saturday competitions a year.

The MTR rehearses during zero period and one afternoon a week. Since this is a team activity, attendance is of paramount importance.  If a member is missing on the field, it makes it difficult for the members who are present to find their location on the field.  For this reason, attendance is crucial.

The color guard is a group of visual musicians that use dance, flag, rifle, and sabre to interpret the music of the marching band.  They are a key component of the MTR and perform in the field show with the band.  When the marching season is over, the color guard begins indoor performance known as winterguard.  In this activity the color guard is the main focus and performs in a gymnasium to pre-recorded music.  Each year the theme, costume, and music are different.  The color guard competes with other color guards from around Southern California.  This group receives P.E. credit and rehearses entirely after school.

When the marching band season is over, students may continue their involvement with UHSMTR is one of four ways. Students may decide to join one of the jazz ensembles; Jazz I requires an audition process, and only accepts the traditional jazz band instruments (saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, bass, piano, or drums), while Jazz II and Freshmen Jazz are open for enrollment and may accept all instruments. In order to be eligible for Concert Jazz Ensemble you must be enrolled in one of the wind bands that take place during the day (the only exceptions are guitar, bass, and piano players). Students may also decide to join Parade Band, and learn more about marching in parade blocks and gain experience. Students can also join winter drumline and become familiar with a variety of percussion instruments, or join winter guard.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Concert Band (Beginning - Intermediate)

Credit: 5 units per semester
Grade Level: 9-12
Length: 1 year
Prerequisites: Appropriate skill level determined by teacher.

Concert Band is designed for beginning to intermediate wind players and percussionists. This course is intended to build basic instrumental techniques. Students will reinforce basic performance skills through regular scale work and technical exercises. They will also learn basic musicianship skills, a historical background of music, and basic music theory.  Performances will include concerts and festivals. Credit for this class is awarded on the basis of participation at rehearsals, concerts, and festivals in addition to the instructor’s evaluation of each student’s performance ability.    

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate playing ability of all major
  • Develop an intermediate level of playing ability on their major
  • Develop knowledge of music theory at a level appropriate to intermediate
  • Participate in public performances.

Symphonic Band (Intermediate)

Credit: 5 units per semester
Grade Level: 9-12
Length: 1 year
Prerequisites: Audition

Symphonic Band is designed for intermediate wind players and percussionists. Students will reinforce intermediate performance skills through regular scale work and technical exercises.  They will also learn musicianship skills, a historical background of music, and basic music theory.   Performances will include concerts and festivals. Credit for this class is awarded on the basis of participation at rehearsals, concerts, and festivals in addition to the instructor’s evaluation of each student’s performance ability.  

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate playing ability of all major scales
  • Develop an intermediate to advance level of playing ability on their major instrument
  • Demonstrate knowledge of music theory at a level appropriate to intermediate musicianship
  • Participate in public performances.

Wind Ensemble (Intermediate - Advanced)

Credit: 5 units per semester
Grade Level: 9-12
Length: 1 year
Prerequisites: Audition

Wind Ensemble is designed for the intermediate - advanced wind players and percussionists.  This group will learn and perform advanced high school wind literature and perform in concerts and festivals. The Wind Ensemble performs concerts as well as special music for the school and community.  Credit for this course is awarded on the basis of participation at rehearsals, concerts, and festivals in addition to the instructor’s evaluation of each student’s performance ability.

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to play all major scales and arpeggios
  • Develop an advanced level of playing ability on their major 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of music theory at a level appropriate to advanced
  • Participate in festivals and concerts

Wind Symphony (Advanced)

Credit: 5 units per semester
Grade Level: 9-12
Length: 1 year
Prerequisites: Audition

Wind Symphony is designed for the advanced wind players and percussionists.  This group will learn and perform high-level high school wind literature and perform in concerts and festivals. The most advanced players in this ensemble will be asked by the instructor to perform with the Symphony Orchestra when appropriate. The Wind Symphony performs concerts as well as special music for the school and community.  Credit for this course is awarded on the basis of participation at rehearsals, concerts, and festivals in addition to the instructor’s evaluation of each student’s performance ability.

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to play all major scales and
  • Develop an advanced level of playing ability on their major
  • Demonstrate knowledge of music theory at a level appropriate to advanced
  • Participate in festivals and concerts

Marching Band

Credit: 5 units per semester
Grade Level: 9-12
Length: 1 year (Offered both Fall and Spring Semesters)
Units may count towards P.E. Credit; Physical Fitness Test: All students, including students enrolled in marching band, are required to take the California Physical Fitness Test and pass five out of the six fitness areas.
Prerequisites: Appropriate skill level and concurrently in Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble or Wind Symphony. Exceptions can be made for orchestra students.
Student must attend summer rehearsals at UHS to participate.

All levels of ability are encouraged to participate.  Students will develop the ability to play standard marches, pep songs, and field music. Students will also learn proper marching and maneuvering techniques. During the first semester, the group will work as a marching unit and perform at football games and field shows.  Credit for this class is awarded on the basis of participation at rehearsals, field show performances, and parades in addition to the instructor’s evaluation of each student’s performance ability.  

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Coordinate marching and playing
  • Execute precision marching routines by
  • Participate in parades, field shows, football games, and public
  • Perform all music necessary for public performances by memory.

Color Guard

Credit: 5 units per semester
Grade Level: 9-12
Length: 1 year
Prerequisites: Audition
Units may count towards P.E. Credit. All students are required to pass the California Physical Fitness Test.

Students will learn intricate and skilled body maneuvers, improving personal coordination and artistry by rehearsing daily to different styles of music.  Students will work with short and tall flags, as well as other equipment.  In the first quarter, the Color guard will perform with the Marching Band at football games and field show competitions.  For the duration of the school year, the Color guard will develop and perform a show in the Winter guard circuit.  Credit for this class is awarded on the basis of participation at rehearsals and performances in addition to the instructor’s evaluation of each student’s performance ability.  

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Spin flags and other equipment
  • Demonstrate dance and movement techniques
  • Perform using all the above techniques.

Jazz Ensemble 1

Credit: 5 units per semester
Grade Level: 9-12
Length: 1 semester (spring semester)
Prerequisites: Audition

This course concentrates on the study and performance of jazz styles which include swing, blues, Latin, jazz, rock, and big band.   The student will be introduced to the art of jazz improvisation.  This class will be taught at an intermediate to advanced level.  This ensemble performs concerts as well as special music for the school and community.   Credit for this class is awarded on the basis of participation at rehearsals, concerts, and festivals, in addition to the instructor's evaluation of the student's performance ability.  

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Perform music in swing, blues, Latin, jazz, rock, and big band at an advanced
  • Demonstrate jazz solo
  • Learn special ensemble techniques required in the performance of jazz styles
  • Demonstrate knowledge of jazz history and aural traditions through listening skills.

Jazz Ensemble 2

Credit: 5 units per semester
Grade Level: 9-12 Length: 1 semester (spring semester)
Prerequisites: Audition

This course concentrates on the study and performance of jazz styles which include swing, blues, Latin, jazz, rock, and big band.   The student will be introduced to the art of jazz improvisation.  This class will be taught at a beginner to intermediate level.  This ensemble performs concerts as well as special music for the school and community.   Credit for this class is awarded on the basis of participation at rehearsals, concerts, and festivals, in addition to the instructor's evaluation of the student's performance ability.  

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Perform music in swing, blues, Latin, jazz, rock, and big band at an advanced level
  • Demonstrate jazz solo skills
  • Learn special ensemble techniques required in the performance of jazz styles
  • Demonstrate knowledge of jazz history and aural traditions through listening skills.

AP Music Theory

Credit: 5 units per semester
Grade level: 10-12
Length: 1 year
Prerequisites: Advanced experience on Primary instrument and teacher recommendations.

This course is designed for music students with advanced music skills and a strong interest in music.  This course will prepare students for the Advanced Placement Music Theory Exam.  This course integrates aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form, music history and style, and performance practices.  

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Compose a 32 measure musical composition in a chosen style
  • Demonstrate developing speed and fluency in working with musical notation
  • Exhibit advanced skills in melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic dictation
  • Perform sight-singing in 4 to 8 measure melodies in major and minor tonalities.

Staff

Corey Heddon   |   Music Director

Corey HeddonCorey Heddon has been the Instrumental Music Director at University High School since the 2007 - 2008 school year. He grew up in Lakewood, California. He began studying music at the age of five when he began playing the piano. Throughout high school, he played several instruments in the school’s marching band – finding his niche with brass instruments. His affinity for marching band led him to drum and bugle corps where he marched in the Santa Clara Vanguard A Corps from 2004-2005. During his age out year in 2005, he was the Baritone section leader and won the DCI Individual and Ensemble competition in the Solo Baritone category. He has since been active as a visual instructor, show designer, and brass specialist in several Southern California schools. Mr. Heddon was on the instructional staff for the Santa Clara Vanguard for the 2009 season as their baritone technician. Mr. Heddon received his Bachelor’s of Music Education from California State University, Long Beach in 2007 and Masters in Music with an emphasis in Instrumental Conducting from California State University, Fullerton . At CSULB, he was a member of the musicians’ fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Currently, he is the Instrumental Music Director at University High School in Irvine, California. He is constantly looking for the opportunity to continue his education and to spread his joy and passion for music to all of those he teaches. He, his wife Melissa, and their three children reside in Irvine, California.

 

MATTHEW DISTANTE   |   Visual Instructor

Matthew Distante has been actively involved in music since high school, playing both tuba and snare drum in marching band and indoor percussion. He has marched two years of drum corps with Pacific Crest and is now spending his summer with the Santa Clara Vanguard. Outside of drum corps, he is pursuing degrees in both tuba performance and music education at Cal State Long Beach.

 

ANDY YOON   |   DRUMLINE COACH

Andy Yoon, an Irvine native, joins the staff not only to teach drums, but also to pass on a passion for music and performance. He is the current snare tech at Velocity Independent. He marched snare for the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012-2013, serving as section leader for his age out season. The following winter of 2014, he placed in the top 10 at WGI Finals with POW Percussion. Andy also marched in the UCLA Bruin Marching Band and currently plays in the Chargers Drumline. He also performed in the Procrastinators Drumline with Steve Angello at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2017.

Playing guitar in multiple local bands, Andy brings experience and unique perspectives from disciplines outside the marching arts, including classical, jazz, and rock.

Andy graduated from UCLA in 2015 and currently works as a Senior Front End Developer at Hyundai AutoEver America in Irvine, CA.

 

michal ortiz-luis   |   PIT COACH

Michal Ortiz-Luis has been a percussion instructor in the Southern California area since 2007. He has performed in both marching and concert groups that include Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps (2008, 2010), Riverside Community College Winter Drumline (2011), and the CSUF Wind Symphony (2012-2015).

As an educator, he is currently the front ensemble caption head at Azusa High School and Rancho Starbuck Intermediate School. His teaching experience also includes Esperanza High School, California High School, Redlands East Valley High School, Troy High School, Rubidoux High School, and Rowland High School. He also has served as the front ensemble caption head at Élan Percussion.

Michal resides in La Mirada and has a bachelor of arts in Music Performance from California State University, Fullerton and is currently pursuing a degree in Radiology Technology. He also is known as MYC, an electronic music artist who performs in Los Angeles.  

 

kyle Traska  |  Percussion CONSULTANT, Music Arranger

Roger Wu Fu

Kyle Traska has been working for University since 2012. He currently lives in Southern California, where he writes music and teaches percussion for multiple programs, including 2016 WGI world champion Pulse Percussion. Kyle graduated from Oregon High School in 2005 and Lawrence University in 2009, where he received his Bachelors degree in Music Performance.

 

 

ASHLEY HUGEBACK   |   Guard Caption Head

Ashley Hugeback started color guard at Rancho Cucamonga High School from 2005-2009. There, she was able to march in 4 field season shows and 4 years of winter guard in Scholastic A , Open and World class. After high school, she  moved on to perform with the Riverside Community College Marching Band for a total of three years with two of those becoming the captain as well as one year at Fantasia winter guard in 2010. During those years, she also had the opportunity to march with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle corps from 2011-2013, where she also became a captain and a soloist. Ashley then took a 2 year hiatus but eventually came back to her guard roots and marched with the Santa Clara Vanguard Winter Guard in 2016 where the team earned a silver medal at WGI Finals.

Ashley has also been able to work with many wonderful groups such as Rancho Cucamonga High school, Upland High school, Arroyo high school, Woodbridge High school and Cypress High school.

 

Boosters

The UHS Band Aides is a group of dedicated parents that support our program and directors with their time and talents. The boosters are the backbone of the Uni Band Program – they can do it all! They organize events, chaperone trips, join committees, build props and other essential items, communicate with the rest of the band parents, and raise money for the program. Every person who has a student in the program is considered part of the Band Aides, and is always graciously invited to participate in making a better experience for our students. Thanks to the parents who do so much to make Band happen for our students!

If you have any question about the Band Aides, don’t hesitate to email at UHSmusic@gmail.com

 

Band Booster Leadership

President:
 
Activities:
 
Secretary:
 
Recording Secretary:
 
Treasurer:
 
Financial Secretary:
 
Donations Manager:
 
Uniforms:
 
Members at Large: